Section 3: Voter Education, Election Official Training and Poll Worker Training -
California's Plan for Voting in the 21st Century



Section 254(a)(3), page 73
How the State will provide for programs for voter education, elections official education and training, and poll worker training, which will assist the state in meeting the requirements of Title III.

The Secretary of State, as Chief Elections Officer, in consultation with local elections officials and other interested parties, and after considering any voluntary guidelines adopted by the Commission pursuant to Subtitle B of Title III, shall:

1. establish an outreach and education program in the Office of the Secretary of State to educate local elections officials and voters, and to do the following:

2. through the process for distribution of funds, provide funds to county elections officials and other entities, including community-based, employee-based, campus-based, and similar organizations, to assist in voter education, elections official education and training, and poll worker training;

3. consider establishing, in conjunction with local elections officials, an "Election Academy" or similar institution to provide training, education and certification to elections officials and poll workers;

4. consider establishing, in conjunction with local elections officials, an on-line, interactive training seminar to train, educate and certify elections officials and poll workers while ensuring that such seminar is accessible to the widest possible audience, including bilingual poll workers and poll workers with disabilities;

5. consider producing and distributing, in conjunction with local elections officials and community-based, employee-based, campus-based, and similar organizations, in appropriate languages, printed materials, websites, website templates, and video on DVD or other appropriate media, providing training to elections officials and poll workers and educating voters on how to participate in the elections process, including, but not limited to, voter guides targeted to older voters and voters with disabilities, including low literacy, and minority language voters;

6. consider enhancing the existing toll-free telephone number and Secretary of State website to provide additional information to citizens on how to participate in the elections process and ensure that there are sufficient staff and resources to make the toll-free number and the website easily accessible to persons with disabilities and persons with language assistance needs;

7. work with local elections officials to establish community-based, employee-based, campus-based or similar programs to train and educate poll workers concerning voting equipment and other election procedures that will be included in funding distributed for outreach and education purposes. The criteria to qualify for these grants shall include demonstrated expertise in voter training and education, and poll worker recruitment activities;

8. establish procedures and criteria for individuals and organizations to apply for grants to assist in training and education activities, including identification and recruitment of minority language poll workers and poll workers with disabilities. The criteria to qualify for these grants must include demonstrated expertise and experience in voter training and education, and poll worker recruitment activities. The grant program must also include evaluation measures to assess the effectiveness of funded programs;

9. develop for posting in polling places, on the Internet, and elsewhere, materials in appropriate languages containing useful information regarding the election process and how to participate in it. The Secretary of State shall ensure that such materials are accessible to the widest possible audience, including persons with disabilities, language assistance needs, and limited literacy skills;

10. ensure that any training provided to poll workers cover at least the following topics:

11. encourage voter education efforts conducted in connection with the foregoing activities to cover at least the following topics:

12. form an advisory committee with a diverse membership, including individuals with disabilities, to assess the Secretary of State's existing outreach programs, including but not limited to: the College Guide, Voter Registration Week's Education Day, Vote America, the C.I.VI.C.S. program, the Shake the State website, and Student/Parents Mock Elections. The advisory committee shall determine the effectiveness of these programs in encouraging young people to register to vote and participate in elections. The advisory committee should also suggest modifications to existing programs and articulate any need for new programs. The Secretary of State shall direct sufficient resources towards strengthening existing effective programs and establishing ones that will be the most effective in addressing the low participation rates amongst people ages 18-24.


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